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2005-2008 Acura RL Pre-Owned

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Justin Pritchard
Last-generation RL seems affected only by minor problems
After a used flagship sedan, are you? Thinking a few-year-old Japanese model is a safe bet? Chances are, you’re right. Research the used flagship sedan market and you’ll likely find that the Japanese knack for effective engineering and reliable electronics has translated into some of the more reliable luxury sedans on the road today.

2006-2007 Acura RL(Photo: Acura)

The Acura RL is one such machine. The last-generation of Honda’s most advanced vehicle was on sale to us Canadians as a 2005 to 2008 model-year vehicle before its recent do-over for 2009.

Shoppers could have the last-generation RL any way they liked-- as long as it was with a 3.5 litre, 290 horsepower V6, 5-speed automatic transmission and Super Handling All Wheel Drive (SH-AWD). There’s no V8 engine available, nor is there a two-wheel drive version. If you’re in need of either of these, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

The last-generation RL came with a plethora of features that culminated in the most comprehensively-equipped sedan Honda’s ever built. Look for navigation, Bluetooth, voice command, an advanced audio system, automatic climate control, steerable xenon lights and an intelligent key system-- just to name a few.

Given its pricing, power, size and equipment, the RL is a viable alternative to cars like the Lexus GS, BMW 5-Series and Audi A6. Drivers of this generation Acura RL typically report enjoying a comfortable and quiet ride, surprisingly agile handling, discreet ‘under-the-radar’ styling and overall long-haul comfort and driveability on long trips. Masterful build quality and materials impressed many owners, as did Acura’s promise of reliable performance. Many RL drivers report good gas mileage, too.

Common complaints include small, fussy and complicated controls for the navigation and audio system, inconsistent operation of the intelligent key system, and a relatively small trunk. Some owners report squeaks and rattles from the interior trim as the car ages, and many wish for more off-the-line grunt from the V6 engine.

2005 Acura RL (Photo: Acura)
Justin Pritchard
Justin Pritchard
Automotive expert